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Ben Carson on 2016 presidential candidacy: I am starting to think about it

Ben Carson is thinking about running for president in 2016
Ben Carson is thinking about running for president in 2016Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call, via Getty

Retired brain surgeon and rising conservative star Ben Carson is considering running for president, Breitbart News reported yesterday from a statement made by the potential candidate. Carson reports being greeted by hundreds of people when he appears to book signings for his latest book, and many are excited about the idea of him running for president in the 2016 election. Additionally, the committee to draft Carson to run for president has raised more money than the counterpart committees that are urging Hillary Clinton and Rand Paul to run in 2016.

Carson told Fox News about a presidential run, “So I am starting to think about it. But it certainly wasn't on my bucket list when I retired.” He said he didn't give it much thought early on after he retired, but has noted about enthusiastic people are about it everywhere he goes. When asked he said he was planning a run, but said he would consider running if citizens “clamored” for him to make the run.

Carson has been attending book signings for his book “One Nation,” which has sold nearly a smany copies as Hillary Clinton's latest book. He has met many who have urged him to run for president at those book signings. Just this weekend, he won a straw poll held in Colorado at the Western Conservative Summit. Carson has won or come in second place in other straw polls as well. Regarding the support he's getting, Carson says “I can't simply ignore it.”

The National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee announced last month it has raised more than $7.2 million since it was founded in August of 2013 from more than 95,000 individual donors. The committee raised $3.3 million in the second quarter of this year, including more than $1 million in May.

“The American people are continuing to show their overwhelming desire for Dr. Carson to run for the GOP nomination in the 2016 presidential election,” said Vernon Robinson, the Committee’s campaign director. “We’ve had tens of thousands of people contribute and hundreds of thousands have signed the petition to get Dr. Carson to run, because people want a principled leader in the highest office in the land. They want a president who can heal the bitter divides that are tearing our nation apart.”

Dr. Carson gained notable attention for his speech earlier this year at the National Prayer Breakfast, in the presence of President Barack Obama, where he addressed his views on health care reform, political correctness and the nation's budget and deficit situation. Dr. Benjamin Carson, who was awarded thePresidential Medal of Freedom in 2008. Dr. Carson's autobiography was the subject of the 2009 movie Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story and he has written five books, including an autobiography of the same name as that movie.